Organizational Change

A discussion of how to lead an organization with continuous change. Specific instructions, details and references will be uploaded.


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Benchmark – Leading a Continuously Changing Organization
Prepare a 1400-word paper that describes how you would lead the organization described in
the scenario below.
You have just been hired as the chief executive officer (CEO) in a medium-sized
organization. The organization is not suffering financially, but neither is it doing as
well as it could do. This is largely because the organization is stagnated in old ideas
having not kept pace with the changing standards of the sector it serves. It does,
however, have a handful of new employees who are eager to see the organization
modernize. The organization also has several long-time employees who have
remained with the company through the good times and the bad. The Board of
Directors feels a sense of loyalty and obligation to these steadfast individuals, but the
Board also knows that moving some parts of the operation “off-shore” would be
better for the organization. In this assignment, you will discuss how you as a leader
would direct this organization through the changes that are necessary for its survival.
Include the following in your paper:
A discussion of the foundational theories upon which you would draw to lead this
A discussion of the application of foundational theories to diverse populations and
settings. How would you apply the appropriate theory to the above scenario?
A discussion of how you would assess the effectiveness of those foundational theories
and adapt them to the diverse populations and settings represented in the above
A statement of how your leadership skills and style would be an asset or drawback to
your effectiveness as a leader in this environment. (NOTE- Base this portion on the
Transformational and Servant leadership styles, which mirrors my style of leadership).
Beaudan, E. (2006). Making change last: How to get beyond change fatigue. Strategic Direction, 22(7).
Blanchard, K., & Stoner, J. (2004). The vision thing: Without it you’ll never be a world-class
organization. Leader to Leader, 2004(31), 21-28.
Dinh, J. E., Lord, R. G., Gardner, W. L., Meuser, J. D., Liden, R. C., & Hu, J. (2014). Leadership theory
and research in the new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives. The
Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 36-62.
The Leadership Quarterly 25 (2014) 36–62
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
The Leadership Quarterly
journal homepage:
Leadership theory and research in the new millennium:
Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives
Jessica E. Dinh a, Robert G. Lord b, William L. Gardner c, Jeremy D. Meuser d,
Robert C. Liden d, Jinyu Hu c
University of Akron, United States
Durham University, United Kingdom
Texas Tech University, United States
University of Illinois at Chicago, United States
a r t i c l e
i n f o
Article history:
Received 1 August 2013
Received in revised form 18 October 2013
Accepted 31 October 2013
Available online 28 November 2013
Editor: Francis J. Yammarino
Leadership theory
Levels of analysis
Global compositional and compilational forms
of emergence
Content analysis
a b s t r a c t
Scholarly research on the topic of leadership has witnessed a dramatic increase over the
last decade, resulting in the development of diverse leadership theories. To take stock of
established and developing theories since the beginning of the new millennium, we conducted
an extensive qualitative review of leadership theory across 10 top-tier academic publishing
outlets that included The Leadership Quarterly, Administrative Science Quarterly, American
Psychologist, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management
Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes,
Organizational Science, and Personnel Psychology. We then combined two existing frameworks
(Gardner, Lowe, Moss, Mahoney, & Cogliser, 2010; Lord & Dinh, 2012) to provide a processoriented framework that emphasizes both forms of emergence and levels of analysis as a
means to integrate diverse leadership theories. We then describe the implications of the
findings for future leadership research and theory.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
1. Introduction
Since its inception in 1988 (first issue in 1990), the mission of The Leadership Quarterly (LQ) has been to sustain and catalyze
the development of innovative, multi-disciplinary research that advances the leadership field. Nearly 25 years later, this goal,
along with many of the journal’s other primary objectives, has been reached (Gardner, Lowe, Moss, Mahoney, & Cogliser, 2010).
As Gardner and colleagues noted in their 20-year review of LQ, leadership research has grown exponentially in the last decade,
attracting the interest of talented scholars and practitioners from around the globe who have revolutionized the way we
understand leadership phenomena. As their review demonstrates, the number of new leadership theories has grown and the field
has advanced from theory that focuses on understanding general leadership processes as they occur over indeterminate amounts
of time to a phenomenon that evolves over different time spans depending on the hierarchical level at which leaders are
investigated (Kaiser, Hogan, & Craig, 2008). Theories have also developed to understand how micro processes, such as
perceptions, emotions, and cognitions (e.g., Bono & Ilies, 2006; Dinh & Lord, 2012; Lee, Aaker, & Gardner, 2000; Trichas & Schyns,
2012), and macro processes, such as the social–relational context (Chang & Johnson, 2010; DeRue & Ashford, 2010; Erdogan,
Kraimer, & Liden, 2007; Gardner & Avolio, 1998; Liden, Sparrowe, & Wayne, 1997), dynamically affect follower and leader
outcomes. Over the last two decades, leadership scholars have also developed theories to explain a leader’s role within complex
E-mail addresses: (J.E. Dinh), (R.G. Lord), (W.L. Gardner),
(J.D. Meuser), (R.C. Liden), (J. Hu).
1048-9843/$ – see front matter. Published by Elsevier Inc.
J.E. Dinh et al. / The Leadership Quarterly 25 (2014) 36–62
systems for instigating organizational change and managing dynamic social networks (Balkundi & Kilduff, 2006; Balkundi, Kilduff,
& Harrison, 2011; Hannah, Lord, & Pearce, 2011; Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2002; Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009).
Although the growing diversity of leadership theory has helped create an academic agenda for leadership research in the new
millennium, we maintain that there are several challenges that accompany the rapid proliferation of new theoretical perspectives.
In this article, we provide a critical review of leadership theory that has emerged since 2000, and we describe the challenges that
scholars and practitioners must address to further advance the leadership field. Our search included theories from nine other
top-tier journals in addition to LQ, allowing us to offer a broader and more comprehensive review of the topics that have captured
the attention of leadership scholars. Rather than provide a detailed summary of the theories that have been identified, this article
focuses on addressing one fundamental process-centered issue that is germane to all theories: how has leadership theory and
research contributed to our understanding of the processes by which antecedent elements affect outcomes pertaining to leaders,
followers, or organizational phenomena?
We believe that attention to processes is important for the following reasons. First, understanding leadership processes can
help illustrate the limitations of current theory, and it can assist in the development of a more comprehensive agenda for
leadership research in the new millennium with direct relevance to organizational practice (Langley, Smallman, Tsoukas, & Van
de Ven, 2013). This is important because leadership is a complex phenomenon that operates across multiple levels of analysis
(Cho & Dansereau, 2010; Wang & Howell, 2010), involves multiple mediating and moderating factors (e.g., DeRue, Nahrgang,
Wellman, & Humphrey, 2011), and takes place over substantial periods of time (Day & Sin, 2011; Lord & Brown, 2004). However,
leadership scholars have more often focused on the isolated effects of leaders or followers at one or another level of analysis and
within short time intervals. Such a static approach is reflected in scholarly work on leadership, which has predominantly relied on
cross-sectional retrospective survey methodologies (Gardner et al., 2010; Hunter, Bedell-Avers, & Mumford, 2007; Lowe &
Gardner, 2000). This approach ignores the cumulated effects of transitory processes, such as emotions, thoughts, reactions, and
embodied cognitions, which can fundamentally alter leader development and behavioral outcomes (Day & Sin, 2011; Lord,
Hannah, & Jennings, 2011).
Second, leadership dynamics involve multiple levels and can produce both top-down and bottom-up emergent outcomes at
higher and lower levels of analysis (Yammarino & Dansereau, 2011; Yammarino, Dionne, Chun, & Dansereau, 2005). For example,
by shaping organizational climates and cultures, leaders can create ethical norms that guide the moral (or immoral) behavior of
groups or collectives in a top-down direction (Mayer, Kuenzi, Greenbaum, Bardes, & Salvador, 2009; Schaubroeck, Hannah,
Avolio, Kozlowski, Lord, et al., 2012). Simultaneously, leaders may also appeal directly to individuals by aligning followers’ values
and identities to those of the organization (Brown & Treviño, 2009), enforcing codes of conduct (Tyler & Blader, 2005), or by
modeling ethical (or unethical) behavior (Brown & Treviño, 2006). Although these processes reflect top-down leadership
influences, bottom-up processes, such as the influence of followers and intrapersonal dynamics, are also important in
understanding how leaders influence organizations and how leadership outcomes are achieved (Dinh & Lord, 2012; Howell &
Shamir, 2005; Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2002; Shamir, 2007). For example, research on meta-cognitive processes and self-complexity
describes how dynamic intra-personal constructs can interact over time to increase intrapersonal complexity, which allows
individuals to have greater behavioral adaptability in response to varying situations (Hannah, Woolfolk, & Lord, 2009; Lord et al.,
2011). At higher levels of analysis, individual complexity allows a variety of social networks to develop into valuable
organizational resources (Balkundi & Kilduff, 2006; Balkundi et al., 2011), and it can produce group complexity when team
members interact, thereby creating more complex knowledge structures that guide group behavior (Hannah et al., 2011). At this
level, group processes can also aggregate to create intangible organizational resources like social capital (Polyhart & Moliterno,
2011). As these examples show, leadership involves the contribution of multiple actors and bidirectional influence (top-down
and bottom-up) that unfolds along different time scales (from minutes to years). Therefore, leadership theory that is narrowly
confined to one level of analysis presents an overly restricted static understanding of leadership phenomena.
Third, prior research indicates that we know much less about how leaders make organizations effective than how leaders are
perceived (Kaiser et al., 2008). We believe this dearth of knowledge on how leaders create effective organizations stems from a
focus on leaders and their qualities rather than on how they change processes in other individuals, groups, or organizations. To
address these issues in leadership research and theory, this article expands upon an existing classification scheme that was
developed by Gardner et al. (2010) and the framework developed by Lord and Dinh (2012, described in Section 3), which
maintains that a key aspect of leadership is to structure the way that the inputs of others are combined to produce organizational
outputs. The advantage of these classification schemes is that they offer unique insight for organizing theory based on underlying
leadership processes (Lord & Dinh, 2012) and have been successful in organizing leadership research (Gardner et al., 2010; Lowe
& Gardner, 2000). By integrating these two classification schemes, we provide several additional contributions to the leadership
Though abstract, addressing the nature of emergence provides a set of conceptual tools that can be used at any level of analysis,
and it offers the potential for discovering leadership principles that apply at multiple levels. For example, focusing on each theory’s
underlying process enables us to organize the extant literature by identifying commonalities among theories. These commonalities
may then suggest deeper principles that unite disparate leadership theories. In addition, a framework that can organize theory
by levels of analysis is critical because leadership occurs within a social context created by individuals, groups, and larger
organizational systems, and the nature of leadership processes may vary with each level. Hence, attention to both levels and
process can promote a richer understanding of how simultaneously occurring phenomenon at different levels of analysis interact
to influence leadership. Finally, such issues have practical as well as scholarly implications. Currently, practitioners wanting to use
scientific research to improve organizational leadership processes must select from a bewildering array of theories that focus on
J.E. Dinh et al. / The Leadership Quarterly 25 (2014) 36–62
competing levels of analysis. Organizing these theories in terms of processes that produce individual, dyadic, group, and
organizational outcomes may help practitioners focus on theories that fit with their organization’s core technologies and social
systems, and address pressing organizational concerns.
To accomplish our objectives, we partitioned this article into three major sections. In Section 2, we provide an overview of the
trends in leadership theory that have appeared since the beginning of the new millennium, a description of our data collection
method, and conclusions regarding the theories that have remained at the forefront of research and theories that have (re)surfaced
since 2000. In Section 3, we provide a more thorough description of our organizing framework, which classifies theories based on
each theory’s level of analysis and underlying process, which we use to organize the leadership literature. In Section 4, we offer our
conclusions regarding the overall literature and make suggestions for the development of more integrative leadership theory and
research, as well as address the practical and theoretical implications of this review to guide future research.
2. Content analysis methods
2.1. Sample
We began by searching the 10 journals identified in Table 1 known for publishing leadership research that also have high
impact factors and regularly appear at the top of journal ranking lists in the field of organizational behavior. We performed a
manual search for leadership, restricting our search to articles published between 2000 and September 2012. This search yielded
989 total hits. We downloaded these articles and applied the following two selection criteria. First, the article had to be original
research, whether qualitative, quantitative, theoretical, or methodological, thus eliminating such items as letters, editorials, and
book reviews. Second, the abstract was reviewed to determine whether leadership was the primary, rather than peripheral focus
of the article. Those that failed either or both of these two selection criteria (237 articles) were rejected from inclusion, leaving
752 articles. (A full list of the articles included is available upon request).
Table 1 reports the number of articles found in each journal. LQ, as a specialty journal dedicated to the publication of
leadership research, dominated our dataset (442 articles), which is to be expected. Journal of Applied Psychology ranked second
(125 articles) in terms of the quantity of published leadership research, and amounted to notably more articles than the
remainder of journals we examined. Organizational Science (7 articles) and Academy of Management Review (8 articles) published
the fewest number of leadership articles of the journals we examined.
2.2. Coding procedure and categories
We coded these articles according to a strict protocol that had been agreed upon by the authors. We also used a Microsoft
Access 2010 database that we designed to accommodate the specific fields that we coded. This eliminated common coding errors,
such as typos and inconsistent nomenclature and provided for consistency between coders. For each article, our database
contains: journal name, year of publication, title, keywords (if available), authors, abstract, type of article, data collection timing
and research method, analytical method, leadership theory categorization, level of analysis, form of emergence, and emergence/
theory match/mismatch. Our coding for type of study involved four categories: qualitative, quantitative, theoretical, or
methodological. Our data collection timing categories included cross-sectional, cross-sectional with time lag intended to reduce
common method variance (e.g., independent variables collected at time 1 and dependent variables collected at time 2), and
longitudinal (where the same variables are collected at multiple time points). Our categorization of research method refines and
expands the list of research strategies listed in Gardner et al. (2010). Specifically, we coded for qualitative (case study), content
analysis (the counting of words or phrases in qualitative, interview, or verbatim response data to produce a quantitative dataset
for analysis), diary or experiential sampling (which requires participants to answer questions at periodic or at random times
determined by the researcher), computer simulation (in which real world conditions are modeled and artificial data produced),
lab experiment (which involves the execution of tasks devoid of contextual realities), experimental simulation (similar to a lab
experiment, but with an attempt to model or simulate a context), field experiment (conducting experimental tasks or applied
Table 1
Number of leadership research articles published in 10 top-tier journals (2000–2012).
Numbers of articles
Academy of Management Journal
Academy of Management Review
Administrative Science Quarterly
American Psychologist
Journal of Applied Psychology
Journal of Management
Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes
Organizational Science
Personnel Psychology
The Leadership Quarterly
Total number of articles
J.E. Dinh et al. / The Leadership Quarterly 25 (2014) 36–62
research), judgment task (which involves participants rating or judging the behavior of others), field survey-primary (data
collected by the researcher directly from participants), field survey-secondary (data used in the study are from archival data),
sample survey (which attempts to obtain a sample representative of the population of interest), meta-analytic quantitative
review, non-meta-analytic qualitative review, and methodology study (in which new methods are described and tested, or
existing methods refined). Our analytical method coding scheme followed Scandura and Williams (2000) and was also used by
Gardner and colleagues (2010). Specifically, we coded for: 1) linear regression; 2) analysis of variance (ANOVA/MANOVA);
3) linear techniques for categorical dependent variables; 4) factor analysis (Exploratory Factor Analysis [EFA]/Confirmatory Factor
Analysis [CFA]); 5) Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)/path analysis; 6) multiple-levels-of analysis te …
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